The last eight years globally have been the hottest on record, and Minnesota is among the top states currently seeing rapid changes to our climate. Scientists know that climate change driven by fossil fuels is impacting our environment, infrastructure, and our health. Minnesota has long been a leader in clean energy, but partisan gridlock in recent years has hindered attempts to combat climate change.
On Thursday, the House DFL majority passed the 100% by 2040 bill, a landmark piece of legislation that will help our state address climate change head-on and prepare for a carbon-free future. Action at the state level is urgently needed to help the U.S. meet our climate goals. This legislation would require that the state’s utilities use entirely carbon-free sources for electricity production by 2040. This would put us on track with over 20 other states that have also adopted similar goals.
Not only is this legislation critical to protecting our climate, but it also makes economic sense. Wind power is the cheapest form of electricity, and producing solar energy is cheaper than building new fossil fuel plants or importing fossil fuels from other states. This bill ensures that we remove barriers to setting up carbon-free and renewable power sources and invest in jobs right here in Minnesota. I was proud to cast my vote in support of the 100% by 2040 bill on the House floor and will continue working to address and combat climate change this session.
Funding Minnesota’s Infrastructure
We started this week by unanimously passing legislation to free up $315.5 million in federal funds to address Minnesota’s infrastructure needs. This bill would allow funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to be transferred to the Minnesota Department of Transportation - and since we were able to move quickly, we can ensure these much-needed funds are available for road projects this summer.
Additionally, this week also saw the full announcement of Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan’s One Minnesota Budget proposal, which included a $3.3 billion plan to invest in critical projects focused on roads, bridges, and water systems, housing and homelessness, and environmental stewardship. As Chair of the House Capital Investment Committee, this was welcomed news.
Communities and institutions across Minnesota are in desperate need of robust capital investment - a need that only grows more expensive the longer these projects and crucial pieces of infrastructure go unaddressed. We have the opportunity this year to deliver legislation that not only meets these needs, but does so in a way that’s mindful of our impact on the climate, takes on our housing crisis, and lifts up the BIPOC communities that have historically been underinvested.
Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan continue to be invaluable partners in building a better Minnesota, and I look forward to working with them and my colleagues in the House and Senate to deliver these statewide jobs and projects.
If you have any questions about the bills we’re working on, please feel free to contact my office. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-4262, and I will be happy to help. I would also like to introduce my new Legislative Assistant, Abdulaziz Mohamed, who will also be helping out with any correspondence my office receives.
I look forward to hearing from you!